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Grim Outlook: Ziff Davis Quarterly Revenues Down 30 Percent



By Jason Fell
08/23/2007

Things continue to look grim for Ziff Davis Media. The tech media publisher's parent company, Ziff Davis Holdings Inc., this week released its second quarter numbers which show its total revenue at $16.5 million, down nearly 30 percent over the same period last year. The second quarter numbers do not include the revenue or EBITDA performance of Ziff's Enterprise Group, which was sold to an affiliate of New York-based private equity and venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners, and closed two weeks ago for $150 million. The Enterprise Group had been characterized as the easier sell among the three Ziff divisions on the block. The $62.3 million Consumer/Small Business Group and the $39.1 million Games Group generate less revenue than the $79.6 million Enterprise Group.
The report comes less than a week after the company announced that it would not make a scheduled interest payment on its senior subordinated compounding notes due in 2009 and that it is exploring options to restructure its debt.

According to its second quarter results, Ziff's revenues from ongoing print publications;excluding the closed publications;declined by 31 percent over the same quarter in 2006. Consolidated revenues, including those from the recently sold Enterprise Group, for the second quarter of 2007 were down 23 percent to $34.9 million.

Digital revenue was a bright spot in the report, realizing an increase of 14 percent over the second quarter last year. The company reported a negative cash flow of $400,000, down $2.3 million from $1.9 million.

Ziff also announced last week that it had retained corporate turnaround and bankruptcy specialists Alvarez & Marsal and Kirkland & Ellis LLP as advisors. Asked if the next step for Ziff was to file bankruptcy, recently named Ziff CEO Jason Young said, "We expect we'll be able to restructure our debt outside of the courts."

By Jason Fell
08/23/2007







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